Rotational grazing is a practice that cattlemen resist because cattlemen say that Labor and water are obstacles to this practice.
The practice of rotational grazing
Rotational grazing is the “rotation” of livestock in various enclosures and pastures to prevent certain parasitic health issue, minimize overgrazing of Vegetation and use more fodder.
However, despite the incentives offered by the USDA or the US Department of Agriculture, many growers have stopped adopting this practice.
The Problem of work and water
Recently, a survey of the producers of livestock Dakota, North and South was conducted as part of a project of 500 000 dollars, which the National Institute of consumer protection, food and Agriculture of the USDA. This project was led by Tong Wang, assistant professor at the Ness School of Management & Economics at South Dakota State University.
The survey results showed that growers who do not practice rotational grazing declared Labor and water as the main obstacles to their adoption of this practice.
According to Wang, growers who opted for rotational grazing thought that the barrier was less difficult than adopting the practice. But even these breeders said that their biggest challenge was to have enough water to feed the paddocks. This included the manual transport of water into each housing or the choice of installation of pipelines.
The disadvantage of continuous grazing
Wang says that continuous grazing, or letting the cattle graze a single pasture for an entire season, will cause the animals to eat only the best herbs and not let the Rest be eaten.
According to Wang, continuous grazing leads to inefficient use of herbs. It can exhaust the best plants and feed and cause weeds to invade the pastures and spread the bare soil.
The advantage of grazing by rotating
According to the survey results, more than half of the Breeders, i.e. 356 of the 549 respondents who adopted rotational grazing, have been practicing for several decades. This was beneficial to both them and their animals by improving water and soil quality and increasing their profits.
More than 84% of these growers have taken over rotational grazing for at least a decade. Meanwhile, almost 11% have taken up the practice for five to nine years, and less than five percent have only practiced it for less than five years.
USDA conservation programs encourage growers to adopt rotational grazing by providing incentives such as low-interest loans and cost sharing. Wang said that it helps them cover the cost of fencing and water.
Encourage growers to adopt this practice
There are several factors that influence farmers ‘ acceptance of rotational grazing. Those who are mainly ranchers are usually more interested; farmers are less inclined to adopt it.
Land ownership is also a factor. Landlords may refuse to change the landscape, while tenants may hesitate to invest so much in the land that does not belong to them.
So Wang said that farmers who owned Land with better soil, and those who had more pastures, were more likely to take up pasture through rotation.
Strategies to increase the acceptance of practice
Wang has a new approach that could increase adoption. Growers who already practice rotational pasture can be role models for others. Your Land could serve as demonstration farms.
In addition, Wang wants to organize workshops and Webinars for ranchers to attract new practitioners for rotational grazing and encourage ranchers to consider the benefits – higher profits, better feed and better storage rates – that outweigh the changes.